Billionaire’s crusade to un-gay his daughter

Hong Kong billionaire Cecil Chao is offering $130 million – double his earlier offer in 2012 of $65 million — to any man who can turn his lesbian daughter, Gigi, straight.  In response to Chao’s extravagant dowry, over 20,000 would-be suitors have crawled out of the woodwork, hoping to be the man who finally succeeds in un-gaying Gigi Chao and winning the grand prize.

Despite the fact that two years ago Gigi married the love of her life and partner of nine years, Sean Eav, Cecil Chao still insists that his daughter is single.  He said that he did not want to interfere with his daughter’s private life, but that he wanted her to have “a good marriage and children.”

Gigi Chao, an executive director at her father’s property development company, part-time pilot, and founder of anti-poverty charity Faith in Love Foundation, has maintained throughout her father’s persistent quest that she knows he is only doing it out of love and concern.  “I understand that he loves me, it’s just he’s from another time and it’s difficult for him to understand the plight of the LGBT.”

Billionaire playboy Cecil Chao, who claims to have slept with over 10,000 women himself, says, “I would not force her to marry a man. But obviously I would, from my point of view, prefer her to be married and to have grandchildren.”

Ms. Chao has demonstrated a high level of understanding in response to her father’s very public and peculiar theatrics.  In an open letter to him, she said, ““I am comfortable and satisfied with my life and completely at ease with her. My regret is that you have no idea how happy I am with my life, and there are aspects of my life that you don’t share. I suppose we don’t need each other’s approval for our romantic relationships, and I am sure your relationships are really fantastic too … However, I do love my partner Sean, who does a good job of looking after me, ensuring I am fed, bathed and warm enough every day, and generally cheering me up to be a happy, jolly girl. She is a large part of my life, and I am a better person because of her. Now, I’m not asking you to be best of friends; however, it would mean the world to me if you could just not be so terrified of her, and treat her like a normal, dignified human being.”  She also added, ““I would be happy to befriend any man willing to donate huge amounts of money to my charity Faith in Love, provided they don’t mind that I already have a wife. Third and lastly, thank you Daddy, I love you too.”

So here we are once again presented with another example of someone attempting to squeeze love into a one-size-fits-all box.  Here we are once again standing witness to the obscenely wealthy’s weaponization of money, using it to control and exert power over others, including those who are willing to take the bait.  And here we are once again collectively observing another loving relationship being told that it is broken, bad, insufficient, unworthy, and wrong.

How must it feel to not only have your partnership publicly dismissed, but to further suggest that its legitimacy or authenticity could be proven invalid by someone who was paid top dollar to do so?

How do we create a world where the idea that love could be manipulated, controlled, or bought simply does not exist?

Sure, in the way we have constructed our society, there are a lot of things money can buy and does buy.  But is someone else’s sexuality really one of them?   Can even the upper crust of the world’s most elite and financially influential have that capability and the power to do so?

(Lisa McCormack is a Feature Editor at The Global Conversation and lives in Orlando, Florida.  To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at

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